TRIBUTES have been paid to Frank Rodgers, a former teacher at St Mary’s College, Irvinestown, and highly-respected former Tyrone GAA official, who died suddenly on Sunday.
Mr Rodgers (82), from Beragh, was also a long-serving Ulster Herald columnist and had penned his popular weekly column (which subsequently became Sideline View) for over 50 years for the paper.
In more recent times he had continued to contribute to the Herald’s GAA coverage with his monthly archive feature.
Mr Rodgers was also a popular and respected maths teacher at St Mary’s College in Irvinestown where he worked for more than 30 years.
He started teaching at the then St Mary’s Secondary School on November 5, 1963, until his retirement on June 30, 1994.
He was twice the winner of Croke Park’s prestigious McNamee Communications Award (in 1979 and 2004), the latter accolade in recognition of the moving piece he wrote following the death of Tyrone player Cormac McAnallen.
Mr Rodgers played an immense role down through the decades in promoting Gaelic Games in the County, a point stressed by Tyrone GAA in its tribute to him this week.
“Tyrone’s modern position as a GAA power is these days largely taken for granted. But for decades it was anything but that, and Frank was one of a group of radical, innovative, and visionary people who changed the path of GAA history here from the mid-1970s onwards,” their statement read.
“A player for Tyrone at Minor, Junior, and Senior levels before an injury ended his playing career, Frank stepped in as Beragh Secretary in 1968 and held onto that vital role for the following quarter of a century. Alongside that he was heavily involved in the strategic reshaping and restructuring of Tyrone GAA in the 1970s, moving on to become one of Tyrone’s key administrators all through the 1980s and 1990s.”
Paying tribute to the contribution Mr Rodgers made to the Ulster Herald for over 50 years, editor, Nigel McDonagh, said, “Frank was an extremely passionate and knowledgeable GAA man who made such a valuable contribution to our sports pages for so many years.
“It was a privilege to have Frank write for us and we are very saddened to learn of his passing. We would like to extend our sincerest condolences to the Rodgers family.”
Mr Rodgers’ Requiem Mass will took place yesterday (Thursday) at 11am in the Church of The Immaculate Conception Beragh followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.
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